- 本系公告 /
Engineered Intrinsically Disordered Proteins for Nucleic Acid Extraction
Prof. Gabriel P. López
Extraction of nucleic acids (NAs) is critical for many methods in molecular biology and bioanalytical chemistry. NA extraction has been extensively studied and optimized for a wide range of applications and its importance to society has significantly increased. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of early and efficient NA testing, for which NA extraction is a critical analytical step prior to the detection by methods like polymerase chain reaction. Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) serve myriad regulatory functions in cells across the kingdoms of life, many of which are associated with collective properties of ensembles of IDPs such as liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) and formation of chemically-specific compartments. Recombinantly expressed, engineered IDPs have been explored for a wide range of bioanalytical applications including preparative and analytical separations. We focus on the use of one particular class of IDPs –the elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) and their fusion proteins—as a particularly useful bioanalytical reagents for NA extraction. ELPs exhibit lower critical solubility temperatures in aqueous and their temperature-triggered LLPS can be easily tuned, predicted and exploited in a wide variety of applications. This talk will present our fundamental studies of LLPS of ELPs as a model class of recombinant engineered IDPs and the use of ELPs in extraction of medically important bioanalytes from complex samples. Emphasis is on development of bioanalytical methods that enable low cost, point-of-care, medical diagnostics.
Gabriel P. López is Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of New Mexico. His current research interests include biointerfacial phenomena, biomaterials, and bioanalytical systems to address problems in health, biotechnology and environmental quality. López has published ≈200 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters and is inventor on 42 issued U.S. patents. He has served as research advisor to 63 graduate students, 42 postdoctoral fellows and 82 undergraduate students; 18 of his former graduate students/postdocs have gone on to professional academic positions. He has served as PI or coPI on grants totaling ≈$50 million. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a Fellow the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering, a UNM Innovation Fellow and the recipient of the W. Moulton Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Washington, the Stansell Family Distinguished Research Award from Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, an NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award, and an Outstanding University Inventor Award from the Semiconductor Research Corporation. He was the Founding Director for the NSF Research Triangle Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC).